I bet you thought I forgot about this topic. Not quite. As I recall we had built a simple personal web page, done some discrete email marketing and worked the Ryze online community - all so that we could get ahead through social networking without having to go to dreaded networking events cold-turkey. That was a good start.
Remember that this all started because of the small world phenomenon we read about where everyone is connected within six degrees of separation. Even though we often feel really isolated and alienated, is that just an illusion? Well. Not quite. Compared to other periods of time, we are probably more isolated and alienated on average than ever before.
We've gotten all mobile in the last century. First it was moving off the farm into the city. Then everyone got cars. Then an awful lot of people seemed to work for corporations and move around a lot. Or they just moved anyway because they could. That was the nuclear family thing where we lost our close connections to our local communities and our extended families. We didn't know our neighbors anymore. All that.
Since then, all hell broke loose. Somehow, families sort of stopped happening. A whole bunch of people married really late or didn't get married at all. They lived together. Serial monogamy was and is still big. Divorce skyrocketed. Cities wound up being places where mostly singles lived. Gays came out of the closet and seemed to proliferate. Families, what was left of them, moved to the burbs.
Besides all that, the workplace kind of fell apart too. It used to be that you could count on having a career - blue collar or white collar. You could count on staying with a company for a long time. Somewhere after the sixties, that whole postwar phenomenon really lost its momentum. It's been a downhill slide since then. What we are left with is a really disloyal, hustling, hunkering or hostile group of people who make up a whole different kind of workforce - if you can even call it that now.
No, the small world phenomenon may be very real, but that doesn't mean we're feeling close, cosy and connected. However, we could be. We are in close proximity and we are a bunch of social animals longing for belonging. It just might look different - real different. Let's keep going with this and see where it leads. [To be continued]